Last night, Lilli and I went through our usual bedtime routine. When I visit, it seems no one else will do when it comes to performing such rituals. We read books, sang songs and said prayers, then I tucked her in and kissed her precious face no less than 57 times.

About an hour and a half later, I, very quietly, snuck back into the room to climb into the other bed. However, it appeared the bed was occupied. I went for a closer look, and there was my little cherub, all snuggled up against the wall, presumably so I had room.

I pulled back the comforter and found that she was bound up in three of her own little blankets. She was making little noises and acting fitful in her sleep. I gently unwound the blankets, and lifted her up and over to her own bed, in which I had smoothed out the sheets, moved the stuffed animals to the side, and fluffed the pillows. Tucking her special blanket into her arms, I watched as her whole little body relaxed.

I straightened my own bed and crawled in. Looking at her by the glow of the nightlight, I realized that we’d just played out what God does for us. In desperation we bring ourselves near him, bound up tight and living fitful lives where there is no solid rest. Out of love for us, He removes the cause of our bondage and gently lifts us to a fresh place of peace and rest, staying right next to us for the rest of our lives.

I went to sleep, feeling peaceful and thankful to serve such a God. And I let Him kiss me goodnight no less than 57 times.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19 NIV